I am so intrigued by the work of South African, Finland/New York-based artist Mustafa Maluka. He takes your average Jane/John Doe portrait and creates something entirely new and original while still maintaining the essence of his subjects. Using layers and layers of paint, Maluka work reflects amazing textures but in the faces as well as the backgrounds. Being a straight lover of color and graphics, I totally love the backgrounds which remind me of awesome wallpaper. What also makes these paintings amazing are their size - we're talking fill up an entire wall size portraits and you know I love big art!
Whenever I look at these - and I've been looking for a while as they have been on my desktop - I can't help but think how cool it would be to have this as the picture on your driver's license or other form of ID. So much more interesting then just your regular mug shot!
Maluka's work has been featured in gallery after gallery and those of you in New York can check out his recent body of work at the Jack Tilton Gallery in Manhattan which goes through February 2010.